Associations between Self-Rated Health and Perinatal Depressive and Anxiety Symptoms among Latina Women

Janeth Juarez Padilla, Chelsea R. Singleton, Cort A. Pedersen, Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The objective of this study was to determine whether decreases in or consistently low preconception to pregnancy self-rated health (SRH) were associated with perinatal depressive and anxiety symptoms among Latinas. Methods: This is a secondary data analysis of 153 perinatal Latinas. Three groups were created to capture SRH from preconception to pregnancy: a decline in ratings, consistently low, and good+ (i.e., good, very good, or excellent). SRH was measured using two questions about their perceived physical health before and during pregnancy. Depressive symptoms and anxiety symptoms were assessed in the third trimester and six weeks postpartum using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, respectively. Life stressors were assessed in pregnancy using a modified version of the Life Experiences Survey. Linear regressions tested the associations. Results: Women with consistently low (i.e., fair or poor) SRH reported significantly more prenatal depressive symptoms than women who reported consistently good+ SRH. Women who reported a decline in SRH to fair or poor reported more prenatal anxiety symptoms but decreased postpartum anxiety symptoms than women who reported consistently good+ ratings. Life stressors were positively associated with prenatal depressive and anxiety symptoms. Conclusions: Healthcare practitioners should assess changes in SRH ratings to identify risks for prenatal depressive and anxiety symptoms among Latinas, who have elevated rates of depressive and anxiety symptoms compared to non-Hispanic White women. Policymakers should provide healthcare providers with mental health resources to support at-risk during the prenatal period.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number19
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • self-rated health
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • perinatal


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